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Secretes of the Reverende Maister Alexis of Piemount. Containyng Excellente Remedies Against Divers Diseases, Woundes, and Other Accidents, with the Manner to Make Distillations, Parfumes, Confitures, Diynges, Colours, Fusions and Meltynges. A Worke Well Approved, Verye Profitable and Necessary for Every Man. Translated Out of the French into English by Wyllyam Warde
London John Kingstone for Nicolas Inglande 1558 - The rare first edition in English of the famous book of medical, cosmetic, culinary and household recipes and the FIRST BOOK on Confectionery. With Provenance. Handsome gothic type, with many large (7 or 8 line) historiated initials throughout, many smaller engraved initials as well. Small 4to, in very attractive full 19th century brown tree calf, the covers paneled in gilt, the spine elaborately gilt decorated in compartments between gilt ruled and stippled raised bands, one compartment with a red morocco spine label gilt lettered, ruled and decorated, marbled endpapers. [7ff], 123ff, [10ff]. Complete but for two blanks, one before "to the reader" and the other between the final leaf of text and the start of the table. A very handsome and proper copy, the text clean and very fresh, top edge trimmed close but only barely effecting the headlines on only a handful of pages, final leaf of the table with a neatly repaired tear with no loss, the binding very handsome with only minor wear and a small chip at the head of the spine, unobtrusive marks of previous owners indicating fine provenance. RARE, THE FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of this famous book of medical, cosmetic, culinary and household recipes, PRINTED ONLY A FEW YEARS AFTER THE FIRST ITALIAN EDITION. Only two copies have appeared in auction since 1975. "The work. became very popular as a treasury of medical and other knowledge in all the countries of Europe" (DNB). An immensely popular book, "The Secrets of Alexis of Piedmont", would eventually be published in more than a hundred editions and was still being reprinted in the 1790s. The work was translated into Latin, German, English, Spanish, French, and Polish. It is "The first book on confectionery" and "the most famous of the receipt-books." It is generally assumed that Alessio Piemontese was a pseudonym of Girolamo Ruscelli, the book's Italian publisher. Ruscelli was an engraver and grammarian. He was later to claim to have written the Secretes, which later would total four parts, all four not appearing together in English until 1568. Translated from the French by William Warde, a physician and graduate of King's College, Cambridge, who used Christopher Plantin's edition of a French translation (Antwerp, 1557) as his original. Alessio Piemontese was the prototypical ‘professor of secrets.’ His description of his hunt for secrets in the preface to the Secreti helped to give rise to a legend of the wandering empiric who dedicated his life to the search for natural and technological secrets. The book contributed to the emergence of the concept of science as a hunt for the secrets of nature, which pervaded experimental science during the period of the Scientific Revolution. The work unleashed a torrent of 'books of secrets' that continued to be published down through the eighteenth century. This copy was likely the first to appear at public sale in America. It bears the ex-libris of Herman Blum and his Blumhaven library in Philadelphia. With the earlier fine provenance of Victorian politician Edward Law, the first Earl of Ellenborough, who also served as Governor-General of India between 1842 and 1844. The present binding likely done for him and has his engraved bookplate from the library at Southam de la Bere. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Buddenbrooks, Inc. ABAA]
Last Found On: 2015-03-19           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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